Research Highlights: Antigen-Specific Adaptive Immunity to Mild Covid-19 Infection and Correlations with Age and the Severity of the Disease

Original Article:

  • The knowledge on the relationship between antigen-specific immune responses and COVID-19 disease severity is limited.
  • Researchers examined all three branches of adaptive immunity at the level of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell and neutralizing antibody responses in acute and recovering subjects.
  • Adaptive immunity usually occurs after exposure to an antigen either from a pathogen or a vaccination.
  • SARS-CoV-2-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were each correlated with milder disease.
  • Coordinated SARS-CoV-2-specific adaptive immune responses were associated with milder disease.
  • The coordinated adaptive responses suggest roles for both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in protective immunity in COVID-19.
  • Particularly, coordination of SARS-CoV-2 antigen-specific responses was interrupted in individuals greater than 64 years old.
  • Naive T cell low count was also associated with aging and poor disease outcomes.
  • A simplest explanation is that coordinated CD4+ T cell, CD8+ T cell, and antibody responses are protective.
  • Uncoordinated responses often fail to control disease with a correlation between aging and impaired adaptive immune responses to COVID-19 virus.


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